Miami’s Early History

So how old is Miami anyways? The answer is not very old at all. It was officially incorporated in 1896. Seems like yesterday right? Still, the city is a baby compared to most other major urban centers in the hemisphere. Nevertheless, to begin with, we must address the history of the 27th state of the Union; Florida. Although the state was controlled by the Spanish for over two centuries, little of their culture remained embedded onto the culture Floridian. During the early 1800’s, Florida was suspended the Seminole Indian war. Ironically, this was the time when the first permanent settlers entered the area. The Seminole Indian conflict began around 1817 and lasted until 1842. The word Seminole was derived from a Spanish word, “cimmaron”, which meant “wild ones”, referring to the fact that they lived in wild, unoccupied areas. They were a diverse group of Native American Indians that had fled to the Florida peninsula for refuge from U.S. expansion. Historically, Florida can be viewed as the continental United States’ last frontier, due to its instability. During the early 1800’s, it was nearly unsettled. South Florida was the wildest section of the frontier peninsula. Few had good reason to dwell into the hot and humid , mosquito-ridden area. TheEverglades swamp seemed to consume all the land anyhow. In this unquestionably Inhospitable place, a settlement named

Miami was home to a handful of plantation owners, Bahamians, and slaves. The U.S. Army’s Fort Dallas and handful of plantation owners, Bahamians, and slaves resided there. The rest of the state was dotted by military forts. Fort Walton, Fort Pierce, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers as well as several others. The Civil War occupied much of the mid 1800’s. The area did not change much.

The city increased significantly in size, and with the baby boom helping inflate the population, became a relatively large city with a defined, although not very dense, urban core.The early 1960’s saw the Civil Rights movement begin to change public opinion towards African-Americans, but in
Miami
the progress was non existent. African Americans enjoyed no political rights nor economic opportunity. Despite all of this, Overtown still thrived as their civic center. They did not know, however, that it was about to be destroyed. The local authorities planned and approved the extension of Interstate 95 and the I-395 elevated highway directly through the heart of their community. Over 12,000 families were forced to move into outlying areas, mostly

Liberty City. This would come to haunt the city later. Almost simultaneously a communist revolution was succeeding in Cuba and a tyrant named Fidel began to confiscate all the private property in the island country. In succeeding waves, The Cuban middle class began there epic exodus into the city. Miami would never be the same (to be continued).

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1 Comment

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One response to “Miami’s Early History

  1. Bernard Clark out there trying to sell out and scinth and make some money for himself just on the news just because he never made himself money from Uncle Luke lol

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